The Unmute ArtsAbility Festival 2019 is a six-day event featuring live performances, theatre, workshops and public art which will take place in and around Cape Town from 28 November to 3 December 2019. It forms of the celebrations for International Month for Persons with Disability.

Unmute ArtsAbility Festival 2019

Unmute ArtsAbility Festival 2019 has partnered with Artscape Theatre Centre, Theatre in the Backyard, Khayelitsha Art School & Rehabilitation Centre and ES Records with financial support from Survé Philanthropies, National Arts Council and The Goethe Institute to present a theme called SHIFT (Spaces and Homes Integration Festival of Transformation) with a display of collaborative artistic works by artists with mixed-abilities (with and without disabilities) from mixed genres (music, dance, drama, visual arts, etc).

The jam-packed festival will kickstart on the 28 November 2019 at 5pm at Artscape Isibaya with a music and dance performance film, Here, by multi-award-winning filmmaker Shelley Barry and artists with disabilities from across the country. The film, which premiered at the National Arts Festival will be followed by a showcase of professional works by Unmute and Friends at 7.30pm at Artscape Theatre. Taking the stage will be more than 20 mix-abled artists from across the country brought together in one space and one performance that will be highlighting what inclusion means to all artists through an integrated dance performance.

Audiences on 29 November at noon at Artscape Theatre will witness a showcase of works created during the Unmute Schools Outreach Program with Astra School, Mary Kihn School for the Deaf, Eros School, Africa Jam Youth Group and Project Playground from Langa and Gugulethu, featuring works by Unmute Dance Company in celebrating Ability Day.

Talent from across the country

On 30 November from 1pm to 6pm at Artscape Theatre, Unmute’s Inclusive SA Programme will be showcasing young talents from across the country in the form of dancers, actors, musicians, designers and visual artists including Uhusiano by Foot Expression Dance Company (Kerksdorp, North West), Sheba by Kutloano Headbush (Gauteng), I Stand Tall by Nyathela Art Works (Witbank, Mpumalanga) and two of Unmute Dance Company’s present works that recently had their world-premiere in Berlin, Germany – 21 Questions by Nadine McKenzie and Bloodbath by Siphenathi Mayekiso. The show will be followed by The Kingdom of Ubuntu at 8pm, a music concert directed by Elvis Sibeko and comprising singers and rappers from ES Records.

On 2nd December 1pm to 6pm Unmute will be taking the festival to the township areas with the aim of creating inclusive platforms for artists and people living with disabilities who might not have the opportunity to go and see theatre performances. Kasi Ability will showcase professional works created by Unmute Dance Company in collaboration with Kasi RC, Mandisi Sondo and invited artists through a blind date maze experience that will be taking audiences through the township and presenting performances at the Shack Theatre.

The festival will then wrap up in grand style on 3 December (from 1pm to 6pm with ArtsAbility in the Backyard which will witness the transformation of performance spaces from the present to the future by turning two residential streets and five backyards into an inclusive art experience for the Nyanga township community.

What: Unmute ArtsAbility Festival 2019

Where and when: Artscape and other venues from 28 November to 3 December 2019

Book: Computicket or Artscape-Dial-a-Seat 021 421 7695

WS